Mary Miles Minter

Juliet Reilly, Juliet Shelby, Mary M. Reilly
1902 - 1984

Born Mary M. Reilly in 1902 in Shreveport, Louisiana, Mary Miles Minter was one of the most celebrated young actresses of her time. She began her acting career under the stage name Juliet Shelby. However, part way through her career as a minor, the Gerry Society, which fought the exploitation of children in the entertainment industry, put such pressure on her and her mother that a new stage name and a new identity was created in Mary Miles Minter who at the age of 16 was of legal age to work.

Minter's most notable role that launched her career was in "The Littlest Rebel" as Virgie Carey. Minter performed this role in Seattle for a week in November 1912. She performed opposite Dustin Farnum and captivated audiences. J. Willis Sayre paid her the utmost compliment of calling Minter, "[Minnie Maddern] Fiske in miniature." Minter also gained glowing reviews from Jack Bechdolt in the "Post- Intelligencer."

After "The Littlest Rebel" left the stage in 1914, Minter moved on to a career in film. Over eight years she acted in 51 films. Her acting career was cut short in the early 1920s by a scandal that tried to link Minter to the murder of director William Desmond Taylor. After serving the remainder of her acting contract, Minter ended her acting career and forever stepped out of the limelight of Hollywood.

Gender: 
Female
Cultural Identity: 
Notable Roles: 
Virgie Carey in "The Littlest Rebel"
Sources: 
Flom, Eric L. Silent Film on the Stages of Seattle: A History of Performances by Hollywood Notables. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2009. Print.